WASHINGTON – The Republican leadership of the House of Representatives has been forced to cancel an expected floor vote on an extreme budget bill that funds the Department of Health and Human Services and other departments due to the bill’s severe restrictions on access to reproductive health care and gender-affirming care.
The federal funding bill would have eliminated a broad swath of programs that increase access to reproductive health care and family planning services, including defunding Title X nationwide family planning programs, defunding the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, and blocking the implementation of executive orders issued by the Biden administration to increase abortion access following the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. The proposed budget also would have eliminated federal coverage of gender-affirming care for transgender people of any age, including care accessed through Medicare or Medicaid.
“Over and over again, voters have made clear that they will not tolerate attacks on abortion and their freedom to determine what’s right for their families, their bodies, and their lives,” said Julie Sweet, director of policy and government affairs for liberty at the American Civil Liberties Union. “As importantly, voters are not buying the dangerous and discriminatory lies being spread about transgender people and their health care by the very same politicians banning abortion. This proposed budget represented a severe escalation of the nationwide assault on reproductive and gender-affirming health care – threatening access to both for millions of Americans – and it’s beyond time House leadership stops these disastrous and unpopular attacks and passes a budget that supports our families and our freedom.”
The ACLU joined a letter condemning the proposed budget alongside 300 organizers and leaders from across the reproductive health and LGBTQ rights movement. The budget proposal withdrawn today threatened to:
- Defund the Title X family planning programs, which provides essential preventive health care to over one million people;
- “Defund” Planned Parenthood, blocking people that rely on public health programs from accessing critical preventive services at Planned Parenthood health centers;
- Ban federal coverage of gender-affirming care for transgender people of any age, including coverage for such care in Medicare and state Medicaid programs;
- Eliminate funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, while funding abstinence-only programs;
- Prohibit Medicaid from covering abortion through the discriminatory Hyde Amendment, and attempt to expand the harmful Weldon Amendment;
- Interfere with postgraduate training in abortion care, an essential component of medical education necessary to ensure the health and well-being of pregnant people;
- Stop implementation of Biden administration executive orders intended to increase access to abortion care for people impacted by state bans post-Dobbs decision;
- Restrict potentially lifesaving medical research; and
- Prohibit the implementation of the Biden administration’s executive order to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.